Former Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk came to Washington D.C. for the March for Life – delivering a speech at the rally near the Washington Monument before the march to the Supreme Court.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Birk explained why he was pro-life and why he came to the rally – even during a historic snowstorm that hit Washington D.C. during the march.
“You look at how many people came out,” he said after delivering a speech on stage. “Yeah it’s freezing cold, a lot of people, they knew coming in that they were probably going to be stranded here for extra days but they still came so I think that really speaks volumes just to the passion of this group and obviously how important the cause is.”
Prior to his speech, he tweeted his support for those who braved the storm for the event.
Rain, blood, snow, or mud- it ain’t stopping The March for Life!
— Matt Birk (@BirkMatt) January 22, 2016
Birk made headlines in 2013 after the Ravens won the Super Bowl and he skipped the traditional team visit to the White House to be recognized by President Obama. He explained at the time that Obama’s position on abortion was why he declined to join his teammates at the White House.
But Birk said people within the NFL and elsewhere praised him for standing up for what he believed in and even people on the street stopped him to thank him for his witness.
“Whether you agree or not I think they have to respect my point of view – certainly in the media and social media the sentiment might have been a little different – but you can’t put any stock in that,” he said. “You do what you are called to do, what you feel is on your heart.”
Birk was hired by the NFL as the director of football development, after he retired from the Ravens. During the interview he recalled the support he had in the locker room for his faith and his beliefs.
“I think what people don’t realize about the NFL is the locker room is a very spiritual place, actually spirituality is part of the football culture,” he said. “You talk about brotherhood on a football team – that has a lot of different meanings but I’d put on the top of that list brothers in Christ.”
A lifelong Catholic, Birk and his wife have six kids and recently adopted a child into their family. He explained that as he and his wife got further involved in pro-life activism, they felt called to adopt.
— Matt Birk (@BirkMatt) January 21, 2016
“It’s such a beautiful alternative – you have the evil of abortion and this most beautiful thing of adoption,” he said.
Kirk declined to pick the winners of the championship games this weekend, but remarked that four excellent teams had made it to the finals.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “That’s what great about the NFL it’s completely unpredictable. I don’t think it ever will get boring because humans are involved.”